Can You Remove Negative Business Reviews on Google?

  • June 08, 2020
  • Bradley Taylor

You have a business and things are going well. Then boom! You get a negative review on Google. To make matters worse, you don’t even have any proof that this was a customer of yours. Or, they were a customer under the previous owner. What can you do?

First, it helps to take a step back and think about it from Google’s prospective. They offer this review service as a free bonus for using their search engine. They aren’t making money from the Google Reviews. So, from their position, to offer a support staff for something that is free is not worthy of major investment.

In Google’s mind, there will be lots of chatter in the review section. Some of it will be accurate, some of it will not. But the idea is that the person looking at the reviews will be able to get an overall picture and will most likely filter out the one or two occasional bad reviews if the business is generally well reviewed.

From “Can I remove bad reviews, or can I pay to have them removed? The short answer is no… Unfortunately, there is no current method to remove negative reviews from GoogleYelpTripAdvisor, or the other major review platforms. This does not mean, however, that there’s nothing you can do about them.”

Essentially, the article referenced above reaffirms what OlympusWEB already knows, that there isn’t much you can do to actually remove the review. If businesses could remove their bad reviews, then they all would have 5.0 scores. And that defeats the entire purpose of the feature. But, you can do some things to mitigate it.

  1. If you have the contact info for the poster of the bad review, contact them and make it right. Then after they are satisfied ask if they would consider removing the bad review. If they will not, remember, its not the end of the world. In fact, having a perfect 5.0 on Google may suggest to some searchers that you haven’t been in business long enough or that only your friends are leaving reviews. An imperfect score can actually be better in the eyes of many potential clients.
  2. Respond to the poster publicly about their unique situation. Let them know you are willing to make it right. And if they are a troll, then make it clear to anyone reading the review that this person was never your customer. Don’t engage in argument as it will only serve to make you look petty.

There is one last option for the rare situation that someone has erroneously left a review for the wrong business or for any other special circumstance. Internet marketing website’s blog post suggests calling Google Adwords and trying to get special exception that way. Adwords is Google’s paid advertising platform. The number is 1-866-2-GOOGLE or 1-800-246-6453. We tried this for a client today and got a recorded message from Google stating that due to the corona-virus they cannot answer phone calls.

It is important to remember that any business promising to remove bad Google reviews for a fee are almost certainly a scam. If they are not a scam then they are just going to do the exact steps that I mentioned above. They don’t have any special access to Google’s decision-makers.

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